Quit, Cry, Shop

It’s not even 10 a.m. on a Saturday and I feel so done with this day.

Gym was not exactly a disaster this morning, but given my state of mind and the piss-poor attitude accompanying it, I went through my 3 sets contemplating the logistics of quitting my practice, training, and how many months were left on our contract so I could cease paying gym dues entirely. From there I alternated between feeling intense dislike toward J for writing the damn routine and hatred toward myself for thinking I could master and perform it.

Oh yes, I was enjoying quite the pity party.

What kicked off my great personality moments was an email from one of my self-employment clients. He’s a handful on best days, but he pays a premium for it and I thought I had learned how to be grown-up and deal with his tirades – I simply do not tolerate them. When I first began working with him, the first time he started screaming at me on the phone I calmly warned him to lower his voice and speak to me civilly and professionally or I would terminate the call. He kept yelling, and I hung up on him and let his 5 successive calls go to voice mail. I deleted all 5 of his ranting, yelling, berating messages after listening to the first few seconds of each. I then wrote him an email terminating our professional relationship.

Once he calmed down, he was extremely contrite and apologetic. He sent me a written apology and was persistent with requests to meet with me to apologize for his rudeness in person and figure out what he could do to retain my services. He explained he sometimes has a short fuse. (Really? I hadn’t noticed, you jerk.) I took a hard line with him and only relented on accepting him back as a client if he (1) never acted so unprofessionally and abusive toward me again, and (2) accepted my standard billing rate and customary 20 day terms (I had originally given him a discount and longer payment terms). If I am going to have to work with someone I feel is untrustworthy, I am going to be compensated fairly for my time and effort.

This morning, I woke up to an angry email and from him about a missed deadline followed by a couple of high-volume voice mails. It instantly infuriated me, because the blame for his problem does not rest with me. I am very aware of my own fallibility and accept responsibility for my mistakes; consequences are part of how I learn to not repeat those actions into the future. However, I had reminded him on 3 separate occasions that the deadline was looming and needed some input and a decision from him to ensure it was met. He either ignored my requests or brushed them aside. The consequences are his own to bear, and I am comfortable that I did what I could to make him address it before the end of 2015.

I should not let it get to me, but it does. I wish there was a switch that let me turn off my give-a-shit button so that I did not care that he is angry and throwing shade my way when the problem is his inaction. Unfortunately I’m not wired that way, and it upsets me. Still. Hours later, it upsets me. I took it to the gym with me and allowed it to color my whole world. That’s on me, and I accept that.

The rational side of my mind knows that quitting training and the gym are not going to make me feel better in the moment or in the long run. However, it would sure be easier than trying to focus and get through my practice. The whispers in my head can rationalize anything at my expense. They even know what other people are thinking and feeling – how relieved J will be to not have to work with me anymore, how the gym will get to collect dues for another several months without the added liability of a member attending, how I am never going to succeed anyway so why embarrass myself by continuing to try?

It’s the last that makes me see red. At myself. I hate that, hate those “you will never amount to anything so why bother trying?” or “you’re not trying hard enough” insinuations still linger. I heard it a lot growing up, and I hate it even now. When my kids were little I would never, ever say that to them, even when I knew they were giving something a half-hearted effort.

See why I am thinking therapy to address this is becoming a critical point to allow me to continue moving forward? I feel crazy.

Because bursting into tears on the gym floor is probably bad form, I gritted my teeth and got through my 3 sets. I was in the safety and privacy of my car and driving home before I completely lost my resolve. Another thing I wish I could change about myself, that I cry at inappropriate or inopportune times.

Maybe it was a good thing. I got home and replied to his email in very professional, very measured tones, and terminated our contract. I will not be treated that way, by anyone, and after he has blown a second opportunity, he will need to find another accountant. While I am still furiously angry, I am not going to be baited into an bitter tirade. Better he find someone else to work with who could handle his uneven temperament, because while I probably could deal with it, I do not believe I should have to put up with that kind of crap.

Do I feel better? Not really. I still want to resign from my life and its activities and responsibilities for awhile and be on the beach impersonating someone else.

Since that is an unrealistic desire and hopeful expectation, and eating mass quantities of sugar is entirely out of the question (yay me!), I am again turning to retail therapy. Thankfully my budget line item for such frivolity is relatively flush right now, so maybe I will come home with a pair or many pairs of shoes. M is off running with pals on Mount Diablo today so he has not had to witness my latest epic spin cycle or have to deal with talking me off the ledge.

I keep reminding myself that I want to be better, to not be so impacted by other people’s choices and behaviors, but it is so hard sometimes. I remain pretty trigger-happy with the self-destructive behaviors buttons myself. Retail therapy is not going to solve my problems, and it’s unlikely to make me feel better in the moment, but it’s a sure-fire distraction.

Or maybe I will get started on the stack of nutrition books J has loaned me. I keep putting it off, because I have a whole other set of fears and anxieties related to that.

Breathe.

Breathe and make no rash decisions. Breathe and do not text cancellations. Breathe and stay off the phone and out of email. Just bleed it off here and then go to the mall.

In this case, spending money is better, because I can always return items tomorrow or even later in the week. But I cannot take back words that might leak out in conversation or erase what I write to others when in this kind of off-the-leash frantic mood is upon me.

Yep, I feel crazy. Hopefully it’s only a temporary setback.

 

3 thoughts on “Quit, Cry, Shop

  1. What a jerk! I’m glad you terminated working for him. Life is way to short to have to deal with someone like that. No amount of money is worth putting up with that kind of stress. I’m sure you’ll find a new client in no time to replace him. I’m curious (not being an exerciser) that I always read articles on exercising touting that it’s a stress reliever, though it often seems to bring you stress?

    • Exercise on its own does a lot to alleviate stress because it tends to bring a sense of accomplishment (yay, I did that today) and relaxed fatigue. However, I work with a wonderful personal trainer who never pressures or pushes really hard, but I feel the weight of accountability and stressure to try hard and perform well – none of that comes from him. We are now venturing into areas that suddenly seem a lot harder than before, and before was plenty challenging. It’s just my overarching sense of responsibility and need to produce something that makes it stressful for me. I think I have actually improved in this area as time passes, but maybe not. 🙂

      I am actually not worried about replacing him, but the CPA who referred me to him is someone I greatly respect and enjoy working with. I’m sure he’s going to understand precisely what happened, but it’s not a conversation I am looking for ward to having in 2 weeks when he returns from vacation.

  2. I’ve been told many times that we teach others how to treat us, by not setting up boundaries. He was warned once before and you have every right to be treated with respect and dignity at all times!

    You went to gym and worked out — good for you!

    Is there some statement that you can come up with to shut down the voices in your head at least temporarily.
    I tell mine that it is 2016 and that I am not in “those” situations any more and to “STOP” or “Stand Down” (sometimes more than once).

    Retail therapy works too, as you can return stuff later this week as you said.

    As to the crying, hate it when I do it when I don’t want to — couple of Fred Pryor seminars have said the way to get around it is to do math, in your head (not easy stuff though) — high numbers in the multiplication tables type math

    Anyway, hope that helps

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